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Tennessee PT Unprofessional Conduct

The board has the power, and it shall be its duty, to deny, suspend or revoke the license of, or to otherwise lawfully discipline, a licensee who is guilty of violating any of this part or is guilty of the following acts or offenses:

(1) Practicing physical therapy in violation of this chapter or any rule or written order adopted by the board.

(2) Practicing or offering to practice beyond the scope of physical therapy practice.

(3) Making false or misleading statements or representations, being guilty of fraud or deceit in obtaining admission to practice or being guilty of fraud or deceit in the licensee's practice.

(4) Engaging in the performance of substandard care by a PT due to ignorance, incompetence or a deliberate or negligent act or failure to act, regardless of whether actual injury to the patient is established.

(5) Engaging in the performance of substandard care by a physical therapist assistant, which includes exceeding the authority to perform the task selected and delegated by the supervising physical therapist, regardless of whether actual injury to the patient is established.

(6) Inadequately supervising or delegating duties that exceed the scope of practice for assistive personnel in accordance with this chapter and rules adopted by the board.

(7) Conviction of a felony or any offense involving moral turpitude in the courts of this state or any other state, territory or country. “Conviction,” as used in this subdivision (a)(7), includes a finding or verdict of guilt or a plea of nolo contendere.

(8) Practicing as a PT or working as a PTA when physical or mental abilities are impaired by the use of controlled substances, controlled substance analogues, other habit-forming drugs, chemicals or alcohol.

(9) Disciplinary action against a person licensed to practice as a PT or PTA by another state or territory of the United States for any acts or omissions that would constitute grounds for discipline of a person licensed in this state. A certified copy of the initial or final order or other equivalent document shall constitute prima facie evidence of a violation of this section and be sufficient grounds upon which to deny, restrict or condition licensure or renewal and/or discipline a person licensed in Tennessee.

(10) Engaging in sexual misconduct. “Sexual misconduct,” for the purpose of this section, includes:

    • Engaging in or soliciting sexual relationships, whether consensual or nonconsensual, while a physical therapist or physical therapist assistant/patient relationship exists;
    • Making sexual advances, requesting sexual favors and engaging in other verbal conduct or physical conduct or physical contact of a sexual nature with patients; and
    • Intentionally viewing a completely or partially disrobed patient in the course of treatment, if the viewing is not related to patient diagnosis or treatment under current practice standards.

(11) Failing to adhere to standards of ethics of the physical therapy profession.

(12) Charging unreasonable or fraudulent fees for services performed or not performed.

(13) Making misleading, deceptive, untrue or fraudulent representations in violation of this chapter, or otherwise, in practice of the profession.

(14) Being under a current judgment of mental incompetency rendered by a court of competent jurisdiction.

(15) Aiding or abetting a person not licensed in Tennessee who directly or indirectly performs activities requiring a license.

(16) Failing to report to the board any act or omission of a licensee, applicant or any other person which violates this chapter.

(17) Interfering with, or refusing to cooperate in, an investigation or disciplinary proceeding, including willful misrepresentation of facts or by the use of threats or harassment against any patient or witness to prevent the patient or witness from providing evidence in a disciplinary proceeding or any legal action.

(18) Failing to maintain patient confidentiality without prior written consent or unless otherwise required by law.

(19) Failing to maintain adequate patient records that contain a minimum of an evaluation of objective finding, a physical therapy treatment diagnosis, the plan of care including desired outcomes, the treatment record, a discharge plan including results of intervention and sufficient information to identify the patient.

(20) Promoting unnecessary devices, treatment intervention or service for the financial gain of the practitioner or of a third party.

(21) Providing treatment intervention unwarranted by the condition of the patient, nor shall the licensee continue treatment beyond the point of reasonable benefit.

(22) A violation or attempted violation, directly or indirectly, or assisting in or abetting the violation of or conspiring to violate any provisions of this chapter or any lawful order of the board issued pursuant thereto or any criminal statute of this state.

(23) Division of fees or agreeing to split fees or divide fees received for professional services with any person for bringing or referring a patient outside the scope of § 63-13-315.

(24) Payment or acceptance of commissions, in any form or manner, on fees for professional services, references, consultations, pathological reports, prescriptions or on other services or articles supplied to patients.

(25) Acting in a manner inconsistent with generally accepted standards of physical therapy practice.

(26) Practicing physical therapy with a mental or physical condition that impairs the ability of the licensee to practice with skill and safety.


Tenn. Code Ann. § 63-13-317

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